- Awesome Music: One of the most popular and beloved hip-hop albums of all time, and for good reason.
- First Installment Wins: While Life After Death is still considered a classic, Ready to Die is usually pointed to as the superior album.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Beyond the glaringly obvious example in the album title, Biggie boasts on "Juicy" that he's going to "Blow up like the World Trade". Biggie was referring to the 1993 "small fries" bombing of the World Trade Center, but it took on a far different meaning after September 11th, 2001. After that day, the line was often cut in radio play and samples (such as Jay-Z's "A Dream").
- Harsher in Hindsight: The title of the album is all that needs to be brought up. Two and a half years later, Biggie died in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
- Magnificent Bastard: In "Everyday Struggle", the Notorious B.I.G. dropped out of school and became a drug dealer to deal with his bills and feed his daughter. Kicked out by his mother as a result, B.I.G. goes to Maryland with his friend Two-TECs where he can gain a higher profit. Taking the Amtrak railroad service with his henchwoman, he gives her the drug supplies, fully aware that she won't be searched as severely as a man, before she sells the drugs, thus ensuring the operation is a success. Upon learning that Two-TECs was killed and that their team was infiltrated, Biggie improvises by having his henchwoman take the fall for conspiracy, promising to make her rich when she's released from prison, while also supporting her family in the meantime. Even though he's aware that law enforcement knows his name, B.I.G., whilst still raising his daughter, ends the song by stating that he has to continue his drug dealing operations, with no indications that he got any comeuppance for his doings.
- Memetic Mutation: "Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke, man, I couldn't picture this!"
- Nightmare Fuel: "Suicidal Thoughts". Listening to this song, you really feel like you're there with Biggie, in a dark room at some ungodly hour, contemplating and finally committing suicide. The creepy, ominous and downright empty-feeling production does not help at all.
- Tear Jerker:
YMMV / Ready to Die